Monday, January 18, 2010

Superfood - Broccoli

Now, gotta say that the egg thing is working well for me so far on appetite control, because I do find that not only is my hunger at bay much better when I do have a breakfast of eggs, but also, that issue I have with late night hunger and snacking doesn't occur either when I eat eggs for breakfast. I tend to do the majority of my blog work late at night, or the wee hours of the mornings really, and those days that I haven't had eggs for breakfast, I am finding that I have an issue with late night hunger and that is not a good thing.

Another thing I used to practice, but fell away from, was to eat broccoli every day. Today I am going to change that and get back to having at least a serving of broccoli every single day.

Broccoli, a member of the cabbage family, is one of the great super foods.  Besides modulating the immune response system of the body, making it a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant cancer fighter, a medium sized stalk of broccoli has more than 100% of the daily requirement of Vitamin K (0.8mg for men, 0.6mg for women) and almost 200% of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin C (40mg for men and women) - both very essential nutrients for bone building. It is also high in Vitamin A.  Broccoli is also high in sulforaphane, used by your liver to convert toxins into nontoxic waste for elimination. The consumption of broccoli has also been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease.

The thermic effect of foods refers to the energy it takes our bodies to process them - to eat, digest, transport through the body, metabolize and even to store.  Some foods have a higher thermic effect than others, meaning that they produce excess energy or heat, thus turning up your metabolism and burning more fat.  When you're over 40, or like me, over 50, that's a definite plus, since our metabolisms have slowed naturally with aging.

But, some foods are also catabolic, meaning that they actually burn up more calories than they contain, and broccoli is one of them. Generally speaking, you can eat a larger quantity of these types of foods, since through natural body processes they actually burn up more calories than they contain. I'll have an upcoming post with more on this topic soon ... for today, we're talking broccoli.

A single serving of broccoli, about 1/2 cup cooked - the size of a light bulb - is only about 25 calories, has 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate and 2.2 gram of fiber. The importance of fiber is a subject we've discussed here before!

According to an article in Fitness Magazine, microwaving preserves up to 90 percent of the Vitamin C in broccoli that can be lost in the cooking process.  Steaming or boiling preserves a little less at about 66 percent. Personally, I usually steam mine in my rice cooker, though I use the microwave on occasion, and let's face it ... so do a lot of other folks! I might note there that there is some question as to whether microwaving affects other vitamins - that's for another post I suppose!

You really don't need an expensive steamer or even microwave steaming bags to do broccoli in the microwave.  Simply place two sheets of paper towel on a plate. Put your serving of broccoli on one sheet and cover the broccoli with the other sheet, tucking all of the ends under and wrapping the broccoli completely. Sprinkle the top of the paper towel lightly with water so that it is wet, but not dripping. Microwave on high for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave and desired tenderness.

So... two dietary pluses for me in the new year - eggs for breakfast most days and at least one cup of broccoli every single day (remember it's thermic, so we can eat more).

Eat your broccoli - it's a superfood!

Sources: Fitness magazine, Crack the Fat Loss Code,Fat Flush, CalorieKing, Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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  1. Very nice article Mary. I'm surprised to hear that microwaving preserves vitamin c. I read somewhere that microwave ovens deplete vitamins in fresh vegetables. Either way, I love broccoli, and do agree it's like you say a superfood for sure.

  2. That was always my thinking too Kathy - but I found more references leaning the other way, to the retention of vitamin C anyway.

    A recent issue of Fitness magazine was where I first read that, but a NY Times article backed that up, referencing a study by The Journal of Food Science, and I noted a few other supporting references in my research. It did not specify whether microwaving affected any other vitamin content outside of C however.

  3. Thanks for the post on broccoli! It's my daughter's favorite veggie (odd, isn't it?) My son hates eating it, but your super food info may sway him (he's almost 13 and getting into a healthy mindset.)

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  4. If you get sick of eggs, Mary, try peanut butter (or almond butter, sesame butter, etc) on toast for breakfast!!!

  5. I loved the information on broccoli.

  6. Elizabeth - fortunately for me, I have always loved broccoli. Unfortunately there isn't a single thing that you can do to it, to make my husband touch it!

    Penniwig, oh, don't you know on occasion I practice my inner-Elvis, with a slice of whole grain toast, spread with peanut butter and topped with a sliced banana!! For some reason though, the eggs seem to stick with me the best and keep my hunger in check.

    Mary, my home library is so full of information & as a paralegal by trade by forte is research - I have the knowledge, just not so good at the practice sometimes!! :)

  7. I love broccoli but I do not know if I could eat it everyday.


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